This is a post in the Tor.com Twelve Doctors of Christmas series. Click the link to peruse the entire series.
Paul McGann showed me that the Doctor was human.
I’m not talking about the half-human bit in the TV movie. I won’t go there, though I don’t think it’s that bad. Indeed, I’m not going near the TV movie at all.
Far more significant than McGann’s 90-minute sojourn in the TV movie is the 90-hour one that he’s had in the Doctor Who audio dramas released by Big Finish Productions. Much has been written on how these stories introduced to Doctor Who some of the changes in storytelling that eventually showed up in the new series: ongoing arcs, companions who actually mattered, big noisy season finales with the fate of the universe in the balance. But I’m not here to talk about that stuff now, because I think all of that overlooks a key factor in the success of those stories: Paul McGann himself.